Men's lacrosse looks for more than PL title

By Eric Brod
Senior Writer

In sports, heartbreak can either demoralize a team or motivate it to greatness. The latter looks to be the case for the 2012 Bison men’s lacrosse squad, which looks to defend its Patriot League title and avenge its excruciating but inspiring 13-12 overtime loss to eventual national champion Virginia. The Orange and Blue, who finished 14-3 last year, gave the Cavaliers their toughest game of the tournament, something that should not be overlooked going into this season.

The Bison come into the season with high expectations, both within the Patriot League and across the country. The coaches in the Patriot League selected the defending league champions as the preseason favorite with the highest possible vote total, and the Bison are ranked No. 10 in Inside Lacrosse’s 2012 preseason coaches’ poll. With seven starters returning from last year’s team and several other key players looking to step up, the Bison hope to defend their title and make a serious run in the NCAA tournament.

Despite the loss of Alex Lyons ’11 on defense, the team returns a strong defensive core led by Mike Huffner ’13, an honorable mention on the Face-Off Yearbooks All-American listings, Jason Neithamer ’12 and goalie Kyle Feeney ’13. The team also features breakout star Todd Heritage ’14 and co-captain Charlie Streep ’12. Streep is a third-team Inside Lacrosse preseason All-American, but will miss the spring season due to a torn ACL.

Coach Frank Fedorjaka’s squad also has a strong incoming first-year class to complement the veterans on the team. The incoming class looks to provide balance and instant impact for the squad with talented midfielders in Gavin Sullivan ’15 and Joe Kearney ’15. Cam Bulgione ’15 and Ben Kellar ’15 look to add depth to the defense and could provide immediate impact as starters this season.

“I’ve been really impressed with a lot of our younger guys stepping up on both offense and defense and filling in some roles from last year,” Streep said. “Everyone has really worked hard to keep their sticks and bodies sharp so we definitely have a lot to look forward to.”

With one of the most talented and deep teams in program history, the Orange and Blue are poised to capture back-to-back Patriot League Championships and make a name for themselves on the national stage.

The importance of the team sticking together will be key in determining how far the team goes.

“If last season taught us anything it was that this solidarity among the older guys is a necessity if you want everyone to be on the same page and realistically compete for a national championship,” Streep said. “Making sacrifices and holding ourselves and each other accountable for everything, big and small, on and off the field is what really made us successful and hopefully will again this season.”

The Orange and Blue officially kick off their season at home this Saturday against Delaware.

 

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